From Banks to Blockchain: Trio Faces 100 Years for Fraud
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CEX.IO, a leading digital asset exchange, has relisted Ripple's XRP tokens for its U.S.-based users, following a U.S. court ruling clarifying XRP's legal status as non-security.
This decision has prompted other exchanges like Kraken, Crypto.com, Coinbase, and Bitstamp to relist XRP, leading to a surge in its price to a year-to-date high of $0.938. Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse criticized the SEC at the Ripple Swell conference in Dubai for deviating from its mission to protect investors, expressing hope for a more favorable regulatory environment for cryptocurrencies in the U.S.
Dubai's Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) is undergoing a leadership change as it gears up for expanded operations in 2023.
The current CEO, Henson Orser, a former banker from Nomura Holdings who established a specialist regulatory regime in the wake of the FTX collapse, will step down and be replaced by Matthew White, a global adviser with experience at PwC. Orser will continue to assist VARA as a consultant. This transition occurs amid the United Arab Emirates tightening regulations and imposing fines on unlicensed virtual asset service providers (VASPs), aligning with its effort to be removed from the Financial Action Task Force’s “grey list.”
Zhong Shi Gao, Naifeng Xu, and Fei Jiang have been arrested by the FBI for executing a sophisticated financial fraud, defrauding nearly a dozen banks in the New York area of over $10 million from 2018 to 2022.
They exploited banking vulnerabilities to double the stolen amounts through fraudulent money transfers. Notably, they converted their illicit gains into cryptocurrency, attempting to use its opaque nature for anonymity. U.S. Attorney Damian Williams emphasized that using cryptocurrency for illegal activities will attract legal consequences. The charges include bank fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, and identity theft, with the accused facing up to 100 years in prison.
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin faces allegations of corruption and fraud based on recordings from 2015 released by early Ethereum insider Steven Nerayoff.
These recordings reveal issues in Ethereum's financial management and decision-making during its initial stages. While the authenticity of these allegations is unconfirmed, they highlight the need for transparency in blockchain projects. In parallel, BlackRock's filing for an Ethereum-focused ETF has sparked debate in the crypto community, especially among Bitcoin advocates. This controversy reflects the ongoing debate over Bitcoin's dominance versus other cryptocurrencies.
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